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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reading Closely... What is that?

So one of the jobs I have  this year is modeling lessons in other classrooms. When I started prepping for this I was lucky enough to obtain this adorable clip art from Nikki at Melonheadz. She is a wonderful graphic artist who makes fabulous graphics for our students. If you don't know her stuff check out her store at Teachers Notebook here. Make her a favorite. She is certainly one of mine!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take Home Bags To Promote Reading

Literacy bags can make a real difference. Our children need lots of opportunities to practice  reading high frequency words in context. How do you provide addition practice with this? You can have your students work with a parent volunteer,  work with a partner, or read to you. However, I still recommend that you send these little readers home so parents can celebrate their child's accomplishments and provide more practice for these young readers! Students are so proud of their new skills and it helps build their confidence.
Convince them and they will believe!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Give Them Books And They Will READ! FREEBIE!

My students use emergent readers that are part of our reading program but I create many other ones for various purposes. Sometimes they need more practice with a sight word and it is important to contextualize it. So I create a reader and try to make them reflect what my students are interested in. If I feel they need more practice with scissors, often it will have a cut and paste component or a place where they practice writing a sight word to build their fine motor skills. Once I have met with the children and worked on these readers in a small group setting, they go in a ziploc bag and into their homework folder. I want them to share these readers with their families and practice as much as possible. I include a note to parents and ask that they take the time to do this to build up each student's fluency and confidence. Kindergarten is all about believing in yourself -right?  I make this very simple but here is the kicker: At the end of the week I want all the books back to practice in the meeting spot for about 20 minutes right after my opening. Sometimes we read them as a group and there are times I call on specific learners. Boy, do you get a window into who is working with their child (or not!) Anyhow I L*O*V*E this system and the kids love having these books to use throughout the semester. You can grab these labels right here.

 If these readers will help add some "sparkle" to your program they can be found at my TpT store and at Teachers Notebook.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spreading Sparkle (Set #3)

Here is my third set of  Sparkle Readers that align to the Common Core. Four emergent readers have been included. These are perfect for young learners who need lots of practice with repetitive text. When implementing CCSS many teachers think that you need to buy lots of additional materials but once you understand the alignment process you will find much of what you already have will work well with these standards. I love the focus on non fiction and many of us will celebrate bringing back all the Science and Social Studies materials we never felt we had enough time to focus on. These little readers reflect this shift and use the repetitive text: Here is the... I tried to create readers that would be interesting to beginning readers and interactive. There are cut and paste activities, color word practice, and number writing. I have also included some practice tracing simple labels. This packet has 73 pages and is selling for just $7.00. If Common Core feels a little scary, here  is a good place to start!  Baby steps...
What activities do you like for building fluency with your kinders?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Add More Sparkle to Your Life

Thank you for all the positive comments you have written about these emergent readers. The teachers in my district have loved having these little sparklers to add into their tool kit. I like the idea of using them in class, along with the pocket chart strips to build their fluency. Wait a minute... what fluency? Okay, eventually. I like when you work on concepts of print on a daily basis and a student on day 60 starts from the right, builds it in the chart and reads it all going in the wrong direction, touching each word. The best is when they turn around to look at you with a huge smile. It is too funny. So what does a teacher do? She models until she turns blue! 
These readers focus on the sight word "a" and are on the following topics: birthday, family, pets, and autumn. I have infused academic language, tracing letters, cut and paste, and guided drawing in these books.
They also align to the common core and reflect the 50-50 shift to non fiction that is being implemented. You want to remind children to look at the details in a picture to help them unlock the text  and try to give them "think time". By the way I am usually biting my lip for the ones who need this. Click here if you might be interested in adding these into your mix. Have a great week of teaching! I am doing a presentation on backward planning with 
Big Ideas and Essential Questions. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core... A Great Resource

Have you seen this resource? It looks like something I might have great use for as I help teachers in my district align to the Common Core State Standards. I have not seen anything quite like this and it might simplify our understandings. This book is filled with activities, worksheets, and even posters to help you wrap your head around these new standards. If your are curious about this you can check out this link and see a sample of the book to see if it meets your needs too. Click on Kindergarten Common Core and see what you think. Leave a comment because I want your thoughts.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Freebie From Fran for Fun

My life has really changed and I am crazy busy trying to support Transitional Kindergarten teachers and rolling out the Common Core to our classroom teachers. My head is swimming from all the information I am trying to make sense of. So I took a break and made a freebie for all my friends out there in the real world who need a perk! If you take the freebie please follow me and follow my store cause it will make my day brighter. These number cards are Common Core aligned because that's how we roll now... Have a wonderful Sunday. Click on the picture to download the goodies from my TpT store. You might want to check out the other packets I have for the beginning of the year.